Chairman, Travel Writers’ Corps of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Bayelsa State Council, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has advised governors of the South-South states to float what he calls “Green Bonds” and adopt green infrastructural development strategies.
The green infrastructural development strategies are intended to support identified environmentally-sustainable initiatives in addition to creating urban green spaces in capital towns.
Kiyaramo, who also doubles as Interim South South Coordinator of the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN),
gave the advice in Yenagoa while speaking with travel writers on the significance this this year’s World Environment Day, with the theme: “ecosystem restoration”.
He described green bond as “a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically earmarked to raise money for environmentally sustainable projects”, adding that green bonds would provide investors with opportunity to directly support environmentally sustainable initiatives, such as tree planting, protecting landscapes, lakes and urban regeneration.
Comrade Kiyaramo said creating urban green spaces such as domestic gardens, parks and woodlands, will provide multitude benefits to urban residents as well as provide conducive environment for wildlife habitats.
The chairman of the Travel Writers’ Corps also said the presence of green spaces in cities can enhance the health and well-being of people living and working in such cities, improve their physical fitness and reduce depression.
He said that ecological restoration of disturbed lands should be an important approach to sensitive urban ecotourism planning, adding that tourism is a sub-component of sustainable development.
While noting that ecotourism remains an effective tool for sustainable development, Kiyaramo said, “that is the main reason why developing countries are now embracing ecotourism and incorporating it as part of their economic development and conservation strategies.”
The travel journalist maintained that ecotourism has proven to be a strong force in the field of ecosystem restoration efforts, adding that incorporating it as part of urban regeneration scheme will go a long way in enhancing the tourism offerings of cities in the south south region.
Kiyaramo reiterated that there was no better time to revive damaged ecosystems than now, stating that “ecosystems support all life on earth and that the healthier our ecosystems become, the healthier the planet and its people will live”.
Kiyaramo, said the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims at preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean, noting that ecosystems restoration can help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction of species.
While urging the governors to give effect to the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration through enactment of appropriate environmental policies, he equally appealed to all and sundry to take part in tree planting, stressing that the ecosystems restoration drive will only succeed if everyone plays a part by conserving the ecosystems that are still intact.
He maintained that as urban sustainable ecotourism initiatives cut across multiple industries, including recreation, transportation, organic food supplies, as well as tourism, there was an urgent need for cities to focus on tourists’ desire for ecotourism-type experiences within urban centres.
Kiyaramo said healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, have the capacity to yield greater benefits such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, and larger stores of greenhouse gases.